The Low Carbon Communities Challenge is a two-year programme to provide financial and advisory support to 20 “test-bed” communities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland that are seeking to cut carbon emissions. It does not cover communities in Scotland. The challenge was launched on 28 September this year.
The 20 successful communities will each receive support to pay for real measures selected by the local residents themselves. These could range from a local biomass plant to retrofitting homes to electric car charge points. In return for technical and financial assistance, people living and working in the area will work alongside government and contribute to finding low carbon solutions from which the whole country will benefit.
The following steps will occur: Applications for the Challenge will be received by 27 November for phase 1 applicants (applying for funding in 2009-10), and 30 December for phase 2 applicants (applying for funding in 2010-11). The final decision on the selection of communities will be made in January 2010. Phase 1 applicants will be notified at this point on the allocation of funding. Phase 2 applicants will be allocated funding during the financial year as they work up their spending plans.